Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has urged the World Bank Group and World Trade Organization (WTO) to continue supporting Bangladesh, in order to help the country face challenges involving its LDC graduation and ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Munshi was addressing as a special guest and a panellist at the inaugural ceremony of a joint policy note-preparing function, titled 'The Role of Trade in Developing Countries, Road to Recovery' - virtually organised by the World Bank Group and WTO on Monday night.
The ongoing Covid pandemic situation and LDC graduation pose challenges to the Bangladeshi trade and commerce, said the minister, adding that the World Bank Group and the WTO should continue their support to help the country face these challenges.
It is needed to continue trade facility for Bangladeshi products under everything but arms (EBA) scheme including maintaining trade facilitation of LDC countries for export of pharmaceutical products, providing World Bank loan assistance at nominal interest rates, and maintaining trade and technical assistant from the developed countries after graduation from the LDC status in 2026, he added.
On November 24, 2021, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to graduate Bangladesh from the least developed country (LDC) category to the developing country.
Bangladesh will have to face many challenges in trade and commerce sectors after 2026, said the commerce minister, adding that Bangladesh had now been facing difficulties due to the ongoing Covid pandemic like other countries.
Mr Munshi told the virtual event that his government had been providing necessary stimulus packages and cooperation to the country's business people to help sustain the country's economic development.
Currently, Bangladesh is in the second position by exporting 6.5 per cent of the global apparel items, said the minister.
Around 4.0 million people are working in around 4,500 labour and environment-friendly factories in the country, he added.
Bangladesh achieves about 81 per cent export earnings from the shipments of the readymade garment sector.
Bangladesh has a huge export potential from the different sectors including medical products, leather and leather products, processed agricultural products, plastics, home textiles and information technology, Mr Munshi told the session.
Presently, the size of the country's economy is around US$400 billion.
Bangladesh's per capita income rose to U$2,554, while it is also a fast advancing country in exporting trade.